Writing about your Ancestors

I have been writing about my Ancestors now for a few years, namely by publishing short stories of their lives on my family history blog. Only recently have I decided to bring their lives to print and create their story simply from the fabric of history and the records they appear in. There are lots to discover and by using a little imagination you really can create a historical account of a life long forgotten.

Every story begins somewhere, with its transcriptions written upon the blank canvas of a piece of plain paper. The etched writings upon fabric revealing the very beginnings of an authors introduction into his characters world be it fiction or fact.
My stories are inspired by fact, true tales twisted in and amongst the lives of ordinary people, although ORDINARY is a rather inaccurate word to use. Ordinary, sums up perceptions of an average and mundane life much as it were the humdrum of un-excited, boring old farts.
My ancestors lives are far from that, their biographies are savage honest memoir’s depicting love, loss, hardship, heartbreak, disease, sadness and so much more.

Below is an extract from a new chapter regarding the life of my 3x great-grandmother Selina Aylott (1853 – 1909), her story has been difficult to tell, not due to a lack of records, but because her life was fragile and heart breaking and her end was met with more suffering than anyone can ever imagine to endure.

A quote from my new manuscript.

I can imagine that Selina’s life as a servant was pretty difficult, her hands would have been weathered and cracked, tiredness would have shown plainly across her face, life would have been lonely, often full of scathing, cutting words infiltrated down from those that are better than you, words that dug deep, forever reminders that your existence belonged firmly at the bottom of the social scale. Were her masters kind; is a question hard to tell but one thing is certain, each trial that Selina endured firmly imprinted upon her life, Most of us, at one or another time, have to go through a lot of pain and difficulties in our lives, which can make us suffer so much that we give up trying to overcome whatever problems we might be facing. These experiences can be as wrought as iron and weigh us down heavily. If Selina did experience unkindness whilst in the service of her masters, it would have manifested itself as the beginnings of her anxiety and depression affects that later in life would have swallowed her whole. That it did, unquestionable each trial dug deeper. To eliminate suffering, you need to walk away and only than does that burden release. Walking away however is not always possible. Advice is frugal, and nothing more than words. After all Victorian, England. Walk away and you go hungry, you go cold, you turn to prostitution you die.

How long Selina resided with Frederich and Elizabeth Hoch and worked within their household is unknown. What is recorded is that life changed dramatically for her in 1873. In the summer of that year aged 20 years, Selina began a romance with an unknown man. The relationship didn’t last too long, and ended pretty suddenly, shortly after pregnancy.

Was love a part of this plan I wonder, and how did this sudden break affect her stability and mindset, or was the father of her unborn child nothing more than the result of a drunken moment.

If we calculate the birth date of Selina’s illegitimate daughter, 4th March 1874, than we get a date of conception around the 5th June 1873. Coincidently, this is the date of Selina’s birthday.

Makes me think, that Selina was in high spirits on this day, a little drunk too.

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